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Food banks bringing in goodies for Thanksgiving

KINGSTON — Food banks in the North End are beginning to stock up for the holiday season, holding events and food drives to try and provide a season of abundance to residents who may normally only have a meager amount. Kingston’s charities are no different, and are reaching out to locals who can lend a hand in putting food on everyone’s table for Thanksgiving.

Both ShareNet and the Kingston Food Bank are working with residents, groups and schools alike to make sure their shelves are stocked and food baskets prepared so everyone in the North End can have a filling, wonderful holiday feast.

“We’re looking forward to getting as many donations as we can get,” said Kingston Food Bank secretary and treasurer Barb Fulton. “Some people go up to Thriftway and Alberstons and buy a dinner for a family. As it gets closer to Thanksgiving, I’ll go pick them up for our customers. Sometimes people come forward, especially at Christmas, and adopt a family.”

Kingston Food Bank benefits from a number of food drives held throughout the year to ensure its cupboards don’t go bare. Fulton said it’s difficult to judge how much food is donated each year. All of the money given by residents goes toward buying fresh vegetables, milk, butter and anything the food bank has a hard time keeping in stock. The spring and summer months can be the most difficult for food banks, with the holiday seasons easier as residents are in a giving mood, she said.

ShareNet is experiencing an odd phenomenon, however, in that it has had a tough time keeping food in stock as so many families have come forward recently, said food bank manager Kathy Melseth. In October, 18 families alone were hoping for food, and that has nearly wiped out the reserves. She said the shortage can be attributed to redrawn lines when Kingston High School opened in September, sending more families to ShareNet and fewer to Fishline Food Bank in Poulsbo.

“Right now, we have a lot of new families, and we are low on food,” Melseth said. “We’ve done everything we can do to get food in here faster. Between here and Thanksgiving is going to be slim.”

Boy Scout Troop No. 1577 has organized a food drive at the Kingston Albertsons from 1-7 p.m. Nov. 16 after hearing about ShareNet’s trouble, said Kingston resident Cheryl Steele. ShareNet is also working in conjunction with Wolfle and Gordon elementary schools and Kingston Middle School to conduct food drives in classrooms. The food will be collected from the schools on Friday.

Melseth said she really likes the idea of children helping children in her community. She said the idea of children writing to families has been one she’s considering to draw a strong connection between the students they are helping.

“The Boy Scout Troop is running a food drive Nov. 16, and that date is especially important for us,” said ShareNet board member Barbara Brumagin. “We need to know what we have so we can put the baskets together for Nov. 19, when they will be handed out.”

Where to give:

Kingston Food Bank

(360) 297-4861

located at the Kingston VFW Hall

on West First Street

Noon to 3 p.m.

Wednesday and Friday

ShareNet Food Bank

(360) 297-2266

located in the Cutting Edge Business Park

on Bond Road, just outside of Kingston

Food bank is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tuesday and Friday

Thrift store is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday-Saturday

Donations can be dropped off at the thrift shop

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